Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


JESUS IS A SELF-APPOINTED AND CHURCH-APPOINTED TOOL TO ABUSE THE JEWS

In the gospels, Jesus is endlessly shown as being less legalistic, more welcoming, more forgiving and more compassionate than the Jews in general and the Jewish hierarchy in particular.  This is passive-aggressive abuse of the people and their cherished leaders.  Oddly enough Jesus does let it slip at times that their leaders were religiously dependable for going to for wisdom and spiritual help.  In Matthew 23 he says as much and then launches off into a tirade.  Each story about Jesus is about showing what the Jews were doing wrong and he was doing right.  There is hidden anti-Semitism which is probably worse than the more blatant.  The ex-priest scholar, James Carroll (read his book Christ Actually: The Son of God for the Secular Age) accepts this tone is there and says many historians and theologians say it is there too.

Jesus Christ though a circumcised Jew sowed the seeds of anti-Semitism in the gospels.  His appointed followers the apostles were no better.  The rift with Judaism got so bad that the followers of Jesus were barred from synagogues and the Temple and it became bitter and ingrained.  The Jews wrote very little bad stuff about this Jesus or his followers.  The Christians issued library after library of slander and hate for the Jews.

Luke 13:6-7 Jesus tells the parable of the fig tree.  The tree will experience violence for bearing no fruit.  In the context of the times that is definitely commanding the death penalty.  It makes sense for a man who was supposed to be Messiah or Christ a warrior king to do that.  Bible prophecy and even the last book of the Bible boast of a violent Messiah.

The fig tree refers to the Jewish Religion. 

Jesus cursed a fig tree to make it wither away for it had no fruit even though it was not the season for fruit.  This action is held to express his view of Judaism as exemplified by a fig tree.  The notion that Jesus would blame a tree for not having fruit out of season pictures how he thinks that nobody has an excuse for saying saintly holiness is beyond them.  Christianity teaches that God's grace transforms and if your good fruits are not good enough it is because you did not accept God's help.  The use of the tree as a picture of Israel or Judaism comes from Hosea 9:10.  Note that Jesus washes his hands of Israel telling it will never bear fruit again.  That is very severe and so the children of Israel will be denied any help or grace from God to help them bear good loving fruits.  It is anti-Semitism at its worst.  Jesus provided the rationale for anti-Semitism.

Jesus had no problem with Judaism's teachings - it is just that it was full of fakes.  No fake is a complete fake but Jesus was clear that all the scribes and Pharisees did was for show - he said they did ALL their works and prayers to be seen by others.  He didn't soften things by saying they did this too much.  He said they did it all the time.  The amount of space they got for criticism in the Sermon on the Mount shows that off all the hypocrites that were in Palestine they were the ones that he wanted to point the finger at!

Anti-Semitism is the best example of the harm a religion can do purely on theological grounds. And Jesus himself virtually says that.

ANTI-SEMITISM OF SAYING CHRIST FOUNDED THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

A religion is a body of common beliefs and different sectarian groups hating each other within the one religion does not mean that at core or in some religious legal (religion has a law even if implied) way they are not the same religion.  Religion and sect can mean the same thing but don't have to.  It depends.  We cannot for example say that the early Christians were a separate religion from the Jews any more than we can pretend that ISIS is a separate religion from Islam. If we do we may be showing ideological bias.  It is wrong to say then that Christianity was founded by Christ.  It was founded decades after when his followers were forced to become a new religion.

While it is true that the New Testament uses the Jewish religion a lot and praises the promises God made to it this praise is toxic. The theme is that the Jews lost all this and threw it away. Thus it is a matter of the quintessential barbed compliment.

I struggle with Christmas every year in the sense that though I have objections to Jesus Christ society and the Church have no right to dishonour the fact that if the gospels are to be believed he died trying to reform his Jewish religion.  He is treated as a Catholic and his Judaism is disrespected and full advantage of the fact that he is not around to object is taken.  There is no evidence that he intended to form a new religion never mind a non-Jewish religion and his followers remained a Jewish party until they were expelled from the synagogues decades after his death. Christ would be in floods of tears at how he has been used by people seeking to disguise self-deception as faith. There is an intrinsic racism in how he is portrayed as non-Jewish as in religion and non-Jewish as in race. Imagine what he who attacked workers in the temple would do to cribs with their Caucasian Jesuses. Anti-semitism is the answer to all who claim that terrorism and violence have no religion.  The lies are the answer to all who say that corruption and distortion have no religion.

It goes, "Jesus himself was a Jew, and he appears never to have doubted or denied the covenant with the patriarchs, the chosenness of Israel, the appropriateness of temple worship or the divine authority of the Hebrew Bible. He saw himself as fulfilling, rather than abrogating, the law and the prophets (Mt 5:17). And contrary to what is often unconsciously assumed, the earliest Christians were also Jews, and the New Testament is a Jewish book. The earliest Christians wanted no break with Judaism; in fact, they believed that accepting Jesus as the Messiah was the correct Jewish thing to do."

That is true and those who turn Jesus into a liberal or a social worker and who would have allowed liberal abortion and same sex marriage need to be reminded of that.  Funny they don't argue that he allowed liberal divorce!  They are worse than fundamentalists for they are more confident in their own infallibility than they are in the Bible.  At least a Bible thumper can read and its better to regard a book as infallible than as every fad as infallible.  But it is obvious that Christianity has shed too much Judaism and that is a sign of anti-Judaism.  It is not justified so it is a cloak for anti-Semitism.  The critical matter of circumcision which makes one a Jew and a participant in God's covenant is just treated as a non-issue.  Christianity disrespects the criteria set by the Jewish religion and which is inherent to it about how one becomes a Jew.

The New Testament could say plenty about pagans and Roman spiritual abuses but not a word is on its pages.  Instead condemnations are hurled at the Jews.  Matthew deliberately writes his gospel so that to the ordinary casual reader it says the Jews took the blame for killing Jesus.  Try to read the gospels without theologians and their "explanations."  The explanations are not how the average person thinks.  Matthew was not writing for theologians.

John has Jesus say to the Jews: If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now I am here. I did not come on my own, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot accept my word. You are from your father the devil, and you choose to do your fatherís desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is from God hears the words of God. The reason you do not hear them is that you are not from God.

Saying God is not their Father or God, that they fail to understand because they don't want to, that their father is Satan is as far from "Love the sinner hate the sin" as one can imagine. He clearly identifies Satan with Satan's sins.  Satan is described as being a liar by nature and having no truth at all in him.  That is another way of saying, "Satan is not a being with sins.  He is a being who is evil as a being."  When he denies any suggestion that we must love Satan and hate his sins in the same breath as saying the Jews are their sins too.  They are all to be hated with their sins.

Romans 3:1 has Paul asking what advantage has the Jew or his circumcision? What profit is in them? This is a rank anti-semitic statement.  This statement has full divine authority for Christians and they have no right to water down the issue by pointing to the seemingly nice things Paul said about the Jews.

The early Christians called themselves Jews.  It is antisemitic to be a non-Jewish Christian or to claim to be.  Christian history is encapsulated in what St Alphonsus Maria Liguori wrote, "Poor Jews! You invoked a dreadful curse upon your own heads in saying:

"His blood be on us and our children"; and that curse, miserable race, you  carry upon you to this day, and to the End of Time you shall endure the chastisement of that innocent blood. O my Jesus! ... I will not be obstinate like the Jews. I will love Thee forever, forever, forever!"  That a religion would even look the other way when such speech is uttered is horrendous.  If you want to hate the Christian religion but love the members then do it. 

Those who deny the Jews killed Jesus might say they are not murderers but they still blame them as accessories or of creating an atmosphere that facilitated Jesus' brutal death.  It means little if they don't call them murderers.  The fact that Christians even ask if the Jews of yesterday were to blame for Jesus' death or of setting the stage for it is bad if Jesus was a fraud or deluded.  It is a terrible thing to be wrong about.  It is better to be wrong about one man than many.  And it is worse that they even ask how today's Jews may be to blame.  Don't let the "may" soften anything.  Their question is heinous.

THE MIRACLES

It is reasonable to suppose that the miracles of Jesus were invented or exaggerated in the gospels as a tactic against the Jews.  The New Testament aims to make the Jews look bad and mad for not believing in such an obvious Son of God and saviour as Jesus.  One is unwittingly hurting the Jews and their innocent ancestors if the miracles are really just manipulative propaganda against them.  Jesus said in John 5:46 that if the Jews really believed what Moses wrote they would believe in Jesus for he wrote about Jesus.  This attacks any Jew who hears about Jesus and does not believe.  The Jews here do not mean only the Jewish leaders.  And when you turn to what Moses wrote all he said was that a prophet like him would come.  It is as vague as anything.

The miracles of Jesus look like an attempt to make the Jewish leadership and their people blameworthy for the brutal murder of Jesus and as having no excuse for doing this and not believing in him. If you are a downright unbeliever or a doubting sceptic who believes that writings after any miraculous event canít count as suitable evidence then you simply have to regard the miracle tales as anti-semitist weapons. The believer may think they are evidence but is not sure and to avoid being anti-semitic has to confess that they are potentially anti-semitic.

The miracles could be real and still be anti-semitist weapons ...

FINALLY

If the doctrine that Jesus somehow perhaps supernaturally directed the composition of the gospels is true then Jesus is to blame for the terrible scourge of anti-semitism. Without the Jews being blamed for killing Jesus and without the New Testament there would have been no persecution of the Jews.  People tend to be populist - that is they can have it it for a group over very little so even if the New Testament did not teach anti-semitism it is a bit complicated to show that and that is no good to the people.